Who has been fact-checking Twitter? This is the question on many users’ minds after Elon Musk assumed control of the site last week, had his Tesla engineers examine the algorithms, and sacked a number of top executives who had been in charge of legal problems and content under the previous administration.
The news surfaced over the weekend that Musk had dismissed a number of workers ‘for reason,’ following the publication of heartbreaking accounts of Musk’s “cruelty” against Twitter’s employees.
As soon as Musk finalized his acquisition of the massive social media firm, he initiated his own criteria for restoring free expression on Twitter. Musk’s first order of business was to dismiss four top company employees, including Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and Twitter’s head of law, policy, and trust Vijaya Gadde.
Given that she had previously been the target of trolling– notably by Musk–dismissal Gadde’s along with that of Agrawal was hardly shocking. Who is Gadde and why did she lose her job? Here is a brief summary of her background, as reported by India express:
Who is Vijaya Gadde?
She was born in Hyderabad and relocated to the United States when she was three years old. Cornell University awarded her a bachelor of science degree in industrial and labor relations. She studied law at New York University. She was also a senior director in Juniper Networks’ legal department. Similarly to Agrawal, she joined Twitter in 2011 as well.
According to a Bloomberg Law report, she made about $17 million in 2021 as Twitter’s top legal officer and around $7.3 million in 2020. Her primary tasks at the company apparently included dealing with bogus news on the site and harassing messages.
It seems Gadde and the others were terminated for good cause:
Elon Musk reportedly appears unlikely to pay the fired executives of Twitter – previous CEO Parag, CFO Ned Segal, and legal Vijaya Gadde – as he fired the executives "for cause," meaning he did it because he alleged he had justification, per the NYT.
— unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) October 30, 2022
Another person on the hot seat emerged over the weekend named Yoel Roth. Roth and Gadde were co-authors of a 2018 memo titled: Enabling further research of information operations on Twitter found: here.
Roth and Gadde noted in the document that, “since 2016, we have released any accounts and related content linked with prospective information operations that we have discovered on our site.” We have previously acknowledged these operations, but are now sharing a large amount of additional information to facilitate independent academic analysis and scrutiny.”
In their joint memo, they assigned responsibilities to Russia:
Earlier this year, we committed to the United States Congress and the public to provide regular updates and information regarding our investigation into foreign interference in political conversations on Twitter. Since that time, we have shared examples of these types of content posted on Twitter by the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and provided the public with a direct notice if they interacted with these accounts. In August, we also disclosed details of another attempted influence campaign we identified as potentially located within Iran.
It is certain that information operations and coordinated fakery will continue. These strategies have existed for a great deal longer than Twitter has existed; they will adapt and develop as the global geopolitical landscape evolves and as new technologies arise.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
These large datasets comprise 3,841* accounts affiliated with the IRA, originating in Russia, and 770 other accounts, potentially originating in Iran. They include more than 10 million Tweets and more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts, including the earliest on-Twitter activity from accounts connected with these campaigns, dating back to 2009.
Independent analysis of this activity by researchers is a key step toward promoting shared understanding of these threats. To support this effort, we have provided early access to a small group of researchers with specific expertise in these issues. Working with law enforcement and the authorities will always be our first priority, but we strongly believe that this level of transparency can enhance the health of the public conversation on the internet. This is our singular mission. CONTINUE READING…